11 things to help children ace their exams

By Tamara Mafilika Time of article published Nov 24, 2020

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Exams are not designed to catch students out, but rather to enable students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of each subject they have explored during the year.

Through practice and preparation, children will feel equipped and ready to handle exams. Parental support is also of paramount importance, try and say something positive and inspiring throughout the exams.

When you show confidence in your child, they will automatically start feeling more confident too.

Kayleen Olivier, from Worksheets, offers the following tips on how to handle the day of the exam.

1. Eat a good and light breakfast: Eat something that will sustain them and help them concentrate.

2. Try to arrive at school or the exam venue early: There is nothing more stressful than being late (or almost late) for a big test or exam. Try and pack for the exam the night before to lessen the time needed to get ready the next morning.

3. Go to the toilet before the exam starts: Getting toilet visits out of the way before you begin can help keep you on track.

4. Stay away from distracting and negative people: Rather wait for the exam to start in the company of calm and supportive people.

5. Take time to slow your breathing and relax when you sit down in the exam room: Being relaxed lets you focus all your attention and cognitive ability on the task at hand.

6. Skim over the exam paper: The best advice is to answer the questions you are able to first and then go back to the ones you are unsure of.

7. Watch out for the wording of the questions: Read carefully what the question is asking and what type of response it is asking for.

8. Don’t worry about how long others are taking: Stressing over what others are doing will distract them from answering their own paper.

9. Grab a lucky charm: It’s not just superstition. Research suggests that carrying some kind of lucky token can actually build confidence and relieve anxiety.

10. Remain positive: Drawing on the support of everything that is potentially positive in a student’s life helps to maximise exam performance.

11. Do not over-hype the importance of any examination: Unconditional love and regard for the child is in no way dependent on how they perform in the exams. This affirmation is the greatest gift you can give them at the start of their examinations.

Throughout the exams and after, it is important to reassure your child that no matter what results they receive, you still love them unconditionally.

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